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Mark Wahlberg’s burger chain may expand into Byron Bay

Mark Wahlberg is the latest Hollywood hotshot coming to Byron Bay as his business partner splashes out on a $200million precinct

Mark Wahlberg is the latest hotshot businessman to cash in on Byron Bay’s skyrocketing popularity.  

The Hollywood actor, 49, is in talks to expand his US restaurant chain Wahlburgers into the coastal town, after his business partner Sam Mustaca purchased a local development site. 

Mr Mustaca splashed a cool $200million on the Mercato precinct in the middle of Byron Bay, and plans to develop the site into a luxury hotel and restaurant precinct.  

Mark’s bid for Byron! Plans are afoot to bring Mark Wahlberg’s US fast food chain Wahlburgers into the Mercato precinct, after the site was purchased by his business partner Sam Mustaca for $200million 

The Mercato – which was previously rumoured to have been purchased by Justin Hemmes – spans 4,128sqm and has a flexible B2 Local Centre zoning, allowing for a wide range of mixed-use development including retail, residential and hotels. 

‘I think we might be talking to Mark Wahlberg about the development, but we need to see what the community wants first,’ Mr Mustaca told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday. 

‘I know Mark loves Byron,’ he said of Wahlburg, who completed a two-week quarantine in the idyllic enclave back in January. 

Buying up: The Mercato precinct  (pictured) - which was previously rumoured to have been purchased by Justin Hemmes - spans 4,128sqm and has a flexible B2 Local Centre zoning, allowing for a wide range of mixed-use development including retail, residential and hotels.

Buying up: The Mercato precinct  (pictured) – which was previously rumoured to have been purchased by Justin Hemmes – spans 4,128sqm and has a flexible B2 Local Centre zoning, allowing for a wide range of mixed-use development including retail, residential and hotels.

It was previously revealed that billionaire publican Justin Hemmes and his Merivale Group were finalising a deal on the Mercato precinct, which was later reported to be false.

Wahlberg announced his plans to bring Wahlburgers to Australian in January after inking a deal worth more than $50million with the Mustaca family. 

The fast food chain will employ 500 staff and see movie-themed restaurants open in 15 locations inside or next to cinemas.  

These locations include Sydney’s Warriewood and Narellan, Melbourne’s Craigieburn, Brisbane’s Indooroopilly and Perth’s Rockingham.  

Details: Wahlberg announced his plans to bring Wahlburgers to Australian in January after inking a deal worth more than $50million with the Mustaca family. Mark pictured with founders Roy Mustaca (centre) and his son Sam (right) last month

Details: Wahlberg announced his plans to bring Wahlburgers to Australian in January after inking a deal worth more than $50million with the Mustaca family. Mark pictured with founders Roy Mustaca (centre) and his son Sam (right) last month

Coming soon: The fast food chain will employ 500 staff and see movie-themed restaurants open in 15 locations inside or next to cinemas

Coming soon: The fast food chain will employ 500 staff and see movie-themed restaurants open in 15 locations inside or next to cinemas 

‘What we are really focusing on now is creating exclusive content just for the customers. So people will see movie trailers early and all that stuff,’ Wahlberg told The Daily Telegraph in January.

The first store to open its doors will be in Sydney’s Circular Quay in coming months, with Wahlberg promising to return to Australia for the grand opening. 

Speaking to A Current Affair, the Mile 22 star revealed he would consider changing the menu at Wahlburgers to cater for Australian tastes by adding beetroot to the burgers.  

‘If that’s what the customers want,’ the actor responded when questioned about whether he would consider adding the Australian favourite.

‘My palate has grown a bit – I didn’t think I liked Vegemite, either, and I had quite a bit of it while I was there. ‘ 

'If that's what the customers wants': Wahlberg (left) previously told A Current Affair he would consider adding beetroot to the menu of Wahlburgers when it arrives in Australia. Pictured with brothers Paul, Donnie and mother Alma

‘If that’s what the customers wants’: Wahlberg (left) previously told A Current Affair he would consider adding beetroot to the menu of Wahlburgers when it arrives in Australia. Pictured with brothers Paul, Donnie and mother Alma

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